Blurry Pictures from a Sony A6000 I bought

So I bought an A6000 and the kit lens (16-50 3.5-5.6) off eBay

Frankly I’m disappointed with the images I’m getting, although not grossly bad the fine detail is even worst than my former camera, a Canon SX-20 “Superzoom” Here’s a sample picture

So I’m wondering what the issue is, if it could be user error, or if something might be defective about the camera and/or lens (and if so which one is more likely), or if the kit lens really is that atrocious. I know yeah, it’s a kit lens and people say bad things about kit lenses, but I figured it was good to start and had to be better than my prosumer “superzoom” camera I had.

Worth noting I managed to drop the camera a foot and a half onto the porch while I was taking it out of it’s package. Unsure if that could have damaged the camera and/or the lens- it seemed to be working fine.

When I saw my pictures coming out like this I did try taking the same shot with my SX-20, and saw noticeably more fine detail with the latter.

This was a 16mm, 1/125th f8, ISO 100, Focus set to defaults.
Imgur

Photo is too low-res to help.
Shoot in “raw” and see if that is any better.
Go to a camera store (if any still exist) and compare to a different lens.

That camera has a 24.3MP sensor and the photo you posted is much lower resolution than that so it’s hard to tell what’s going on. Here is link to a photo I took with a Canon 7D which has fewer MP but the resolution is 3500 x 4600 pixels, and my photo is cropped. Click on the “broken image” icon to see the photo.

ETA I managed to go to the IMGUR page where I could see the full-res version of your photo. IMHO it is not the focus that is the issue but the resolution. Maybe that is just the best imaging that sensor can produce. I’ll look at it further.

Your camera has three image sizes, S, M, and L. Make sure it is set to L. Also make sure it is set to optical zoom.

ETA: You might want to reset the camera settings to default.

I downloaded your image and opened it in an editor. I am not an expert at image analysis but my take is that your focus is probably OK. The edges look sharp but resolution is not high and I think I see compression artifacts. I would agree with beowulff to shoot RAW and see what you get. JPG is a lossy compression.

I do not think this has anything to do with your lens. Lens quality can affect sharpness but more commonly affects image distortion (barrel and pincushion distortion, chromatic aberration, etc.).

I looked at the image, and it’s in focus. If anything it looks like the camera over sharpened it as the blades of grass and edges of the tree leaves pop way too hard IMO. Play with less sharpening, and what everyone else said: shoot at the highest rez and RAW if you can deal with RAW.

So the suggestion to just reset everything to factory defaults seemed to work. Image quality was set correctly but I looked around a bit and the previous owner had apparently disabled the electronic first curtain shutter and changed who knows what other settings. I just took a picture of a morning glory at f8 and I can see the individual specs of dust on it. It’s also possible my previous camera was extremely aggressive at sharpening JPEGs so that’s what I was used to looking at while the Sony tames it down a little- I turned on RAW and didn’t see that much difference between the RAW and the JPEG.

In case you haven’t figured it out I understand the basic concepts in photography and used to own a Nikon film SLR, but this is my first “real” digital camera so that’s why my thought was it could very well be user error or incorrect expectations.

One more question- if I understand it correctly if myself (or UPS or the previous owner) had actually damaged it by dropping it, the results would more likely be it plain not working or looking really wonky as opposed to what at most is a very slight softness in focusing?

Thanks for the help.

Dropping lenses can result in “decentering” an element, which will result in one side of the frame being sharper than the other.

viewing your image at 100% zoom … thing most apparent was how the image was blurring at the edges … while the center of the pic is actually quite acceptable. of course, it is a *.jpg … you might consider saving as *.tif (no artifacts) … *.raw format would be optimal, but substantial with regard to memory-size. errr … scratch that … bhphotovideo.com states only *.jpg and *.raw formats are available.

hmmm … neither sony’s A6000 nor nikon’s D5600 (comparison purposes) allow saving in *.tif format … anyone know the reason it’s disallowed?

TIFF is kind of pointless if you have JPEG and RAW.
It’s bigger, with no other advantages.

thanks … i got a more satisfactory explanation here (scroll down to the 14th voted answer) :

Summary

https://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/23278/why-isnt-saving-photos-as-tiff-files-a-popular-choice-by-dslr-manufacturers